|Publication number||US7394021 B2|
|Application number||US 11/710,831|
|Publication date||Jul 1, 2008|
|Filing date||Feb 26, 2007|
|Priority date||Apr 20, 2006|
|Also published as||CA2581158A1, CA2581158C, US20070246258|
|Publication number||11710831, 710831, US 7394021 B2, US 7394021B2, US-B2-7394021, US7394021 B2, US7394021B2|
|Inventors||Joey D. Magno, Jr.|
|Original Assignee||Magno Jr Joey D|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (35), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (6), Classifications (11), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/793,441, filed Apr. 20, 2006.
The present invention relates generally to a conduit fitting for receiving electrical wires therethrough. More particularly, the invention relates, generally, to a liquid tight conduit fitting that allows the installer to insert wires in a straight position and then rotate and secure the fitting to a desired angle and to a method of connecting.
In electrical wiring, conduit fittings are used for connecting electrical conduits or various other cables to outlets, fixture boxes, junction boxes, and the like. In many applications, it is often desirable to have a conduit fitting that includes a bend or an angle.
Various conduit fittings have been developed that can be rotated for use as both a straight conduit fitting and an angled conduit fitting. U.S. Pat. No. 954,504 to W. F. Drew describes a pipe coupling device with a threaded nut having a flange that cooperates with the flange of a fitting with a bend. However, such coupling device does not prevent loosening or rotational movement of one fitting against another fitting.
Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 1,880,098 to J. E. Mair, U.S. Pat. No. 4,856,825 to Blakely, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,114,631 to Gretz, all disclose a connector fitting for conduits with a variation of a nut member holding two conduits. However, none of these references provide for a connector which will facilitate a tight clasp of two conduits to prevent their inter-rotation during installation or at a time thereafter, as well as maintain the conduits in place should the nut member be slightly loosened.
Further, many of the prior conduit fittings are difficult to install due to their complexity. In terms of steps for installing prior conduit fittings, the installer must hold the conduit fitting in one hand at the desired angle, and with the other hand manipulate the securing mechanism for locking the conduit fitting at a desired angle. Additionally, as the prior art references mentioned above indicate, those fittings provide a nut to secure the fitting at the desired angle. However, over time, the nut loosens allowing the fitting to inter-rotate or change positions.
Other prior art fittings include a snap-on feature to snap the two sections of the fitting together at the desired angle as shown in the U.S. Pat. No. 5,064,226 to Klas. However, the snap-on feature also results in a loose connection between the fitting pieces allowing the fitting pieces to change positions relative to each other.
Further, prior art fittings mentioned above and other fittings in the industry include a variety of separate pieces which must be assembled on-site. As there are several small separate pieces in the prior art fittings, which are easy to lose and hard to handle, the fitting itself is difficult to put together and, often, certain pieces such as the nut may become lost while trying to assemble the fitting.
Some of the fittings also fail to provide a water resistance feature as a tradeoff of their feature for making various rotational angle positions possible during assembly. Moreover, these prior conduit fittings are often complex and/or difficult to manufacture.
Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a conduit fitting which can be installed at any desired angle and retained at that angle until purposefully moved. Further, it is desirable to have a fitting assembly including a means of securing the fitting so that it will not come off during shipment and loosen after installation. In addition, it is desirable to have a fitting assembly that is pre-assembled at the manufacturing site to prevent loss of important pieces, yet allow disassembly if required. Finally, it is desirable to provide a conduit fitting assembly that can be easily and readily assembled, while preventing water from entering there through.
The present invention is directed to a rotational liquid tight conduit connector assembly fitting for extending a plurality of wires, cords or cables therethrough. The invention includes a generally cylindrical body 61, another generally cylindrical body 62 and a gland nut. The present invention includes a nut retention feature and an alignment feature to retain the connector fitting at the desired angle. Further, the present invention includes an overhang mating surface with an indented mating surface that concurrently provides for a liquid tight seal for the fitting seams.
Specifically, one embodiment of the present invention includes a gland nut of annular shape having two spaced apart ends and a sidewall therebetween. The sidewall has an internal surface including an internally threaded portion near one end and a snap-on portion near the other end. The internally threaded portion is telescopically screw attached to the externally threaded surface of the first body. The snap-on portion includes a series of inwardly projecting fingers slideably positioned over the rim of the second body and snap-on attached thereto.
Another embodiment of the invention includes an overhang mating surface and a second mating surface with an indented mating surface. When the first mating surface and the second mating surface are joined together by the gland nut, the overhang mating surface and the indented mating surface are also simultaneously joined to provide for a secure leak-proof connection. A preferred embodiment related to this embodiment includes an o-ring placed between the overhang mating surface and the indentation mating surface to further secure the water-tight connection.
Further, a method of delivering wires through two disconnected conduits separated by non-common axis is provided. In a preferred method, an installer couples a first cylindrical sleeve body with a first disconnected conduit. The external circumferential indentation may be rotatably engaged by an inwardly facing protrusion of a gland nut at the manufacturing site or the installer may snap the pieces together to make sure the pieces do not get lost.
The installer, then, couples a second cylindrical sleeve body with a second disconnected conduit. The gland nut of the first body includes an inner thread that engages with the outer thread of the second body. Next, the installer, rotationally positions the gland nut and the first cylindrical sleeve body to a desired angle to align the inner thread of the gland nut with the outer thread of the second cylindrical sleeve body.
After that, the installer rotates the inner thread around the outer thread to pull the notches of the first and second sleeve bodies together to restrain further torsional movement thereof. Finally, the installer inserts a wire through the ingress end to the egress end, thereby delivering wires through two disconnected conduits separated by non-common axis.
Other advantages and features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, which, taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings, discloses the preferred embodiment of the invention.
The present invention will be described with respect to several preferred embodiments of
Describing the Figures with more specificity,
However, it may be appreciated that the present invention may be practiced with respect to any angle in between from 0-360 degrees with respect to the locking faces or mating surfaces 11 a, and 12 a relative to each other for the desired application. Thereby, such wide degree of freedom in placing the mating surfaces at different rotation positions allows placing cable receiving end 1 a of elbow 1 and the cable egressing end 2 b of elbow 2 at various angles from each other and in various different planes in connection with other conduits (not shown) at different axes.
As shown in
In this embodiment, first connector half 11 has an outwardly extending flange portion and a cylindrical externally threaded side wall 19 between ends 17 and 18. First connector half 11 is bored through the center from the attachment end 17 to second end 18 to allow for elbow 1 (or a wire passageway) to extend therethrough. The attachment end 17 has a locking face or mating surface 11 a which has a surface profile including teeth-like protuberances and depressions or notches 15 to provide a fast mating surface such as an uneven surface. Additionally,
The second connector half 12 is similar to the first connector half 11 with an outwardly extending flange portion that includes a second spaced apart end 23, an attachment spaced apart end 24 and side wall 25 therebetween.
Alignment connector halves 11, and 12 may be formed from metal or non-metallic material, such as ceramic, plastic or composites. As shown in
Gland nut 14 is generally an annular member having two spaced apart ends 20, 21 and a side wall therebetween. The side wall of gland nut 14 includes an internally threaded surface 14 a for being telescopically screw attached to sidewall 19 of first connector half 11. Gland nut 14 also includes a plurality of raised surfaces 14 b provided about the external surface thereof, to facilitate a gripping surface for screw attachment of the gland nut 14 onto the first connector half 11. Thus, the externally threaded sidewall 19 of the first alignment connector half 11 is designed to mate with internally threaded surface 14 a of gland nut 14, wherein the gland nut 14 pulls together or inter-mates the two notches 15 and 16, and assists in retaining the connector halves 11, 12 together at the desired aligned angle.
Further, the gland nut 14 includes a series of inwardly projecting fingers 22 at one end 20 for having the gland nut 14 received into a portion of the second connector half 12 as a snap-on attachment thereto. The fingers 22 project inwardly at a preferred range of angles about the circumferential internal surface of the gland nut 14. The fingers 22 of gland nut 14 have one-way lead-in geometry for providing a one-way slidable attachment over the rim 30 (as shown in
It is further noted that the gland nut 14 of the present invention could be retained via the inwardly directed protrusion method or any other method as can be appreciated by a person skilled in the art to be attached on either the first alignment connector half 11 or the second alignment connector half 12 with minor feature adjustments.
Referring to the combination in detail,
As mentioned above, the first alignment connector half 11 includes notches 15 to cooperatively interconnect with the mating surface (surface profile of the locking face) 12 a of second connector half 12. By way of example and not by limitation,
As can be seen in
Referring now to
The connector halves 11 and 12 are positioned at a desired angle with respect to each other. Once the mating surfaces 11 a, 12 a are properly aligned, they are joined together to lock the connector halves 11, 12 at the desired angle. Next, the gland nut 14 is contacted with the attachment end 17 of first connector half 11. The internally threaded wall 14 a of the gland nut 14 is screw attached to the externally threaded sidewall 19 of the first conduit connector half 11 to secure the gland nut 14 to the first connector half 11. Functionally, the gland nut 14 telescopically progresses by rotating around the perimeter of the externally threaded sidewall 19 of first connector half 11, tightening ever closely, and thus, securing the mating surfaces 11 a, 12 a together. This combination retains the assembly fitting 10 at the designed angle, and prevent further rotation of the elbow 1 and 2. In a preferred embodiment, the cable egressing end 1 b of elbow 1 will compressively abut against gasket 13 as the mating surfaces 11 a, 12 a are drawn together and secured. The gasket 13 compresses and is sandwiched between both the cable egressing end 1 b of elbow 1 and the cable receiving end 2 a of elbow 2, thereby forming a watertight seal. As a result, the mating surfaces 11 a and 12 a cooperatively retain the connector halves 11, 12 at the desired angle and position even if gland nut 14 should loosen relative to first connector half 11, due to external forces.
Furthermore, after the gland nut 14 is “snap-on” attached to the second connector half 12, the fingers 22 of gland nut 14 prevent the gland nut 14 from detaching from the second connector half 12. Therefore, gland nut 14 is prevented from separating from the second connector half 12, should the gland nut 14 become loosened during shipping or other outside forces. This allows the installer to change the position of the connector assembly portion 10 of the elbows 1, 2 to the desired angle without fully removing the gland nut 14 from the assembly 10. Essentially, the gland nut 14 will remain attached to second connector half 12 to prevent possible loss or misplacement of parts. Thus described,
Referring now to
The installer, then, couples a second elbow 2 with a second disconnected conduit (not shown), wherein the second elbow 2 has another rigid angular elbow shape which includes attachment end with the mating surface 12 a, and another cable ingress/egress end (16, 26). In some embodiments, the mating surfaces may be notched.
The installer, then, rotates the spaced apart end of the gland nut 14 and its attached first cylindrical sleeve body elbow 2 to align with the mating surface 11 a of the first alignment connector half 11. Once a desired aligning angle for the inner thread 14 a of the gland nut 14 and the outer thread 19 of the first cylindrical sleeve body elbow 1 has been achieved, installer pulls the gland nut 14 closer to cover over and engage with the externally threaded sidewall 19. At this point, the installer has the option of pulling through the cable through both elbows 1 and 2 and their respective connected conduits.
Next, the installer rotates the inner thread 14 a around the outer thread 19 to pull the mating surfaces (11 a, 12 a) of the first and second sleeve bodies elbows together to restrain further torsional movement thereof. This, in essence, provides for a positive lock-up position such that even if the gland nut 13 is not tight or becomes loose due to vibration or some external force, the positive position lock up ensures that the position of the connector halves do not change (do not slide to other angles).
Finally, the installer has the option at this point to insert the wire and pulls it through the ingress end 1 a out through the egress end 2 b.
While the invention has been described in connection with what is present in the considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment, but, on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangement included within the spirit and scope of the and claims, which scope is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equipment structures as it is permitted under the law.
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|U.S. Classification||174/59, 174/135, 285/194, 174/481, 174/68.1, 439/207|
|Cooperative Classification||H02G3/0625, F16L27/0841, Y10T29/53987|
|Feb 26, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: THOMAS & BETTS INTERNATIONAL, INC., DELAWARE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MAGNO, JR., JOEY D.;REEL/FRAME:019045/0981
Effective date: 20070215
|Sep 9, 2008||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Jan 3, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Mar 5, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: THOMAS & BETTS INTERNATIONAL LLC, DELAWARE
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:THOMAS & BETTS INTERNATIONAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:032388/0428
Effective date: 20130321